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Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise)

Star Wars
by yo go re

I've never seen The Hidden Fortress, the movie that influenced George Lucas's Star Wars story. Is there a part in it where the good guys have to dress up the opposing army?

Han Solo thinks this whole plan to save a princess from her Imperial captors is a very bad idea, but he changes his mind when Luke Skywalker says that there might be a large financial reward for the one who rescues her.

Here's a surprising bit of trivia: since the Star Wars toys started up again in 1995, this is the first time there's ever been a solo-carded Han in Stormtrooper disguise. The first one was a Froot Loops-exclusive mailaway, then there was one in a Cinema Scene three-pack, followed by the Screen Scene set and a comic pack with Chewbacca. But by himself? It took 14 years to happen. And hell, he didn't even get a figure like this in the vintage line, so go back to the start of this paragraph and take out the bit about 1995. This is the first time there's ever been a solo-carded Han in Stormtrooper disguise.

This figure re-uses the mold from the 2006 comic pack version, but thankfully skips the awful "comicbook" coloring that saw Han dusted with baby blue shadows and sporting red eyes. The figure itself is kitbashed from several pre-existing bodies, but it's not like you can really tell one Stormtrooper from the next at a glance. Spooky white space armor, lots of detail, etc. etc. etc. You know the score. With the helmet on, he stands ⅛" above the standard 3¾".

The only real new part of this figure is the belt. Why a new belt? Well, as you remember from several different reviews, the gun didn't really fit in the holster the way it should. The figure does include a blaster, of course, and while it still doesn't sit quite right, the fit is definitely better. The little cannister on the back of his belt is removable, as well, so be careful not to lose it.

Han has the usual Stormtrooper helmet, of course, and it fits his head nicely. The face beneath is a decent likeness of Harrison Ford, which makes sense since the sculpt originated in one of those high-priced "Vintage" lines. Watch out for the paint on his hairline, though - it can get a bit sloppy, and since that's basically the only pait app there is (the black and white on the armor are fine), it will make a difference.

Like most of the current Stormtroopers, this one has good articulation: a ball and socket head, balljointed shoulders, elbows, chest, knees and ankles, plus swivel wrists and hips. It's enough to oversee prisoner transfers from cellblock 1138, or for reassuring someone on the radio that while there was a small reactor leak, you've got it under control now. His right leg is longer than his left, for some reason, so he leans to the side a bit.

Having inherited the "Build-A-Figure" concept from ToyBiz when they picked up the Marvel license, Hasbro has wasted no time in applying the idea to their other properties. Most Star Wars figures these days come with a part of the unfortunately named "Build-A-Droid." The "BAD" (see? told you the name was unfortunate) piece included with Han Solo is the right left right leg of R5-A2, an orange droid that was hanging around Mos Eisley.

It's strange to think that this is a Han Solo figure that's never been available before - and in such a ubiquitous form! How unexpected is that? Thirty-one years, and this is still an action figure first. And luckily, this is a really good figure, definitely the best version yet.

-- 05/23/09

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